A trip to Kuala Lumpur couldn’t fail in visiting the Petronas Towers, whether you choose to go up them or not, they’re a building to still be stood at the bottom of and marvelled at. We almost didn’t go to the top, after reading that if the weather is hazy you basically can’t see anything – and there had been a thick haze the whole time we were there.
We decided to take a punt and book ourselves in to go on our last night, We had noticed that night falls very quickly we had noticed in KL and strategically picked a time we thought would cover us from seeing the sunset to the nights switching on across the city, and we did pick the perfect timing – 7.15 (June for reference).
We booked our tickets online after trying to go an book them directly and being refused to be served, despite the fact the centre didn’t shut for another half and hour. I’ve never really done skyscraper visiting other than the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre in New York. Unlike either of those the Petronas Towers had set time slots, twice an hour (on the hour and quarter past the hour), and the time you could spend up there was also set.
The Towers are 451 metres high, and were the tallest buildings in the world between 1998 & 2004, and still to this day hold the record of the highest twin towers in the world. They will soon be overtaken in Kuala Lumpur as there is a new building due to open next year called KL118, which will be 682m high. The shape of the buildings are inspired by Islamic art and are quite unusually shaped for skyscrapers, with more and more of them becoming shard like structures to easily outbeat it’s predecessor. The towers, creatively named as Petronas Tower A, and Petronas Towers B are connected together with the Skybridge which connect across the 41st and 42nd floor.
On arrival we watched a video, which I’m now failing to remember what it was about – I think it was a brief description of what would be happening during the visit, before getting in the Elevator to go up to the first stop at the Skybridge, the sun was beginning to set, and this stop offered great views across the KLCC park which we had walked around the edge of earlier in the day. We were allowed around 10 minutes in this area before going back in the lift.
From here we went up to the next viewing platform at level 86. This had more floor coverage and within this area we managed to catch the end of the red toned sunset which appeared for only a minute before seeing the night creep in, On this floor there was also some models of the building and history about it, unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to read any interesting facts that may have been around.
Your group is denoted by coloured lanyards which shuffle you from one area to the next. I understand the reasoning behind limiting the amount of people there if it had been much busier than what it was we may not have got as good pictures, or been able to get a good enough view for our own eyes, especially for the Skybridge. But I couldn’t help that I was spending more time waiting to go up or down in a lift then I did actually enjoying the views – waiting to go in two lifts up and two lifts down very quickly ate into an hour.
On the skybridge floor there were parts you couldn’t go, but were next to the lift queue area that were completely unused which offered different angle views over parts of the city. All they would have needed was an extra person to man this area and we could have seen so much more.
I can’t help but compare to Empire State and Rockefeller where you spend as much time as you like there, where our trip was capped at an hour. As a result I couldn’t help but feel the experience was a little expensive for how much time you had there – the tickets were 170MYR for us both (Coverting to £30.70), If the time allotted was split to limit the amount of time you could have on the skybridge to ten minutes, then allowed people to spend up to say 45 minutes on the 86th floor I think this would have counterbalanced the 30 minutes or so spend waiting.
I wouldn’t have wanted to go up during the day time, the haze was much thicker during the day, and would have played a huge part in inhibiting our views, the view I got of Kuala Lumpur was that it’s always fogged over, but I’m sure that’s not the case, but if you wanted to visit I would strategically pick your time based on the weather. I’m glad we did it, but I wouldn’t revisit it if we were ever to go back.
After the Petronas Towers we walked through the shopping centre (taking advantage of the air conditioning to reach the taxi rank on the other side), where we headed over to an place called Lot 10 to eat. Lot 10 is below a shopping centre and is a place which came highly recommended for food with lots of booths – food was very authentic and rustic, and being a fussy eater and not understanding the menus as most were not written in English meant we ended up after walking around twice leaving and going to one of the restaurants just outside.
We eat at a place called Guitar String Cafe, which was linked to another restaurant just across called Blues and Bees. One specialised in Pizza and Pasta, whist the other specialised in Grills & Steaks, but both had both menus so you could order from both, odd set up! After this we pretty much headed back to the hotel, after a stop of at a 7 Eleven across the road for some ice creams and got in a taxi back to our hotel where we needed to pack up as we were getting picked up the next morning at 10.30.
We planned to be up and ready the next morning early to go and enjoy breakfast first thing and maybe a quick walk in the neighbouring park, but we were awoken by our room phone ringing saying that our taxi was here. We threw everything into our cases having missed breakfast and got our asses down to reception as quickly as we could! Ben went to lost property as we’d realised his travel pillow had gone missing (they didn’t have it) whilst I went to the taxi, I told him we’d woken up late and missed breakfast and he asked what time our flight was, he said we had about 20 minutes spare to be safe and told us to go eat breakfast, so thank you Taxi man, I gobbled down as many pastries as I could (as everything else was to order pretty much!)
So that was it, that was our 4 days (2 full days, 1 slither of a morning and an evening on our arrival) of Kuala Lumpur. My final two posts will be on the places we ate in more detail, and then an overall thoughts on KL after visiting, then we’ll be commencing the Bali Diaries!